TRY THIS AT HOME!
GOD'S CHILD RETURNS TO THE FATHER
(This story was written on August 4 2006 )
Mrs. Randle and myself were suffering, big time, from the 98F heat (at 10pm), when I realised i'd missed 2 phone calls; One from jazmaan and one form JJ. I rang them back and within minutes I got the terrible news, that Arthur had passed away. i was shocked. I knew what he was going through and i knew the odds but deep down i KNEW he was going to be bopping again, onstage. The other day i had a dream that i rang him and told him he was late to rehearsal! But, alas, i was wrong.
From the outside someone might have thought Arthur and myself didn't get along. What you have to understand is that no one played more shows with him than myself. no one. I spent, along with Chapple, Johnny, Daddyo, Rusty, Kose, Troels, Fraser, Glenn, Gene and Rusty, night and day with one of the greatest singers and performers anyone ever could have witnessed. A guy who had a big heart and a huge sense of humor. He was not perfect. he could be an asshole. But he loved us. And I forgot that more than once.
Some might say he was tough to understand but i never had a problem with that. I knew Arthur and i loved him but sometimes he drove me crazy. ok, most of the time he drove me crazy. he pushed people away when they showed they cared. i still don't know why. I still have gifts fans gave him over the years that he gave to me because he didn't want them. i think they made him emotional, possibly. i have letters. I put them away and lord knows where they are. A few letters. Songs and sheet music people sent. A wonderful necklace a small boy gave as a gift in San Francisco. I have it.
So many things i never could or would (and still will never) mention but i can say that I was 26 when we first started playing with Arthur Lee and I'll turn 40 in November. Arthur had a unique relationship with everyone he knew, especially bandmates. His relationship with Dave Chapple was very interesting, in that, not only did those guys get into it sometimes but, more times than not, Dave Chapple was the one guy Arthur really felt he could talk to and get a sympathetic ear. Dave Green was the guy who handled so much of the band's business and the guy is as honest as they come. Rusty and myself found ourselves at Arthur's Taluca lake home, many a hot summer valley, working on songs with him. It was as exciting as it was uncomfortable. It was like a strip show at the Dentist office; odd, fun and very very interesting.
Arthur told me, a few weeks after he was released from prison in Dec. 2001, that graveyards were a waste of space and that they would be better used as playgrounds fro children to enjoy. i think part of this came from him being in jail and missing his Mom's funeral. he loved his mom and always spoke of her. he and Gene kraut spent hours laughing about things like that, when they were argueing about things like business. And when Gene died in Feb 2004, i know Arthur was hurt. And then, later the same year Arthur's best friend, Original Love drummer, Don Conca, overdosed in August.
we did a superb tour with the Zombies that year but after that, Arthur and his girlfriend of the last year and a half split up. I think all the combined events led him to a bad way, emotionally. Still, no matter what or where Arthur was in his life, his WAY BACK girlfriend, the sweet and nice, Diane, was always there as his friend and backbone. And a few months ago, Diane and Arthur married. I believe she was with him when he passed to the great Glastonbury in the sky.
And , believe you me, Arthur is there right now, taking Jimi and Don Conca's money at pool! And, as Arthur once said, "The People need a King and I need a Throne."
All the best, Mike